Before I continue, I'd like offer my condolences to the family and friends of Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, vocalist and bassist of Motorhead who sadly passed away on 28/12/2015. Whilst it's no secret that there had been the odd health scare on various occasions over the last few years, cumulating in a dignosis of cancer two days before he passed on, it was still a shock as he was such a big part of the rock scene - and had been for a very long time. He will certainly be missed. RIP Lemmy
I decided to blog this album as it caused a few ripples when it was first released. Original guitarist "Fast"Eddie Clarke had quit so the remaining members (Lemmy and drummer Phil "Philthy Anumal" Taylor) then hired guitarist Brian Robertson (Thin Lizzy, Wild Horses) to take his place. Whilst the pedigree of Mr Robertson is without question, he ultimately proved to be the wrong man for Motorhead. It wasn't his playing that was the problem (he brought a sense of melody that hadn't been at the forefront much and from a technical skill point of view, he's a far better guitarist than Eddie Clarke) but it was his attitude and outlook. In his 2002 autobiography (White Line Fever - cracking book), Lemmy tells of how not only did Brian Robertson refuse to play old classics live ("Bomber", "Ace Of Spades" etc) but his sense of dress seemed like it was intended to not only put the stamp on his individualism within the band but to provoke as well - ballet shoes and satin shorts whilst playing a gig that had been organised by the Hells Angels? Not a good idea. It's alleged that he was presenting himself as more of a 'featured artist'as opposed to a band member. In the end, he was out after the tour for this album. Also, the aforementioned melodic edge seemed to shit a few people up the wall at that point too. Let's see if all the fuss was justified...
1) Back At The Funny Farm - A rattling bass riff opens proceedings and we're treated to what is essentially standard Motorhead speed-metal fare...but with more melodic guitar fills. Seriously, other than the melodic fills -and possibly the FX laden guitar solo - there isn't anything out of the ordinary here. It's Motorhead, dammit, so of course it's great! "I really like this jacket but the sleeves are much too long". Quality!
2) Shine - Again, more typical Motorhead fare which has some great solo work. Nice and heavy and groovy enough to get you shaking. Admittedly, there isn't too much of a melodic influence to this one. Still, great song.
3) Dancing On Your Grave - Opening with a melodic intro, it then goes into standard Motorhead fare. And WHAT A SONG! It's also where Brazilian band Sepultura took their name from - 'grave' in Portuguese is 'sepultura'. Anyway, the song has a fantastic solo towards the end, in fact, it has fantastic solos in the song all over, not just the end - but the main riff is the highlight. Fantastic, sounding both melodic and heavy too. It's perfect.
4) Rock It - This one is good, but kind of comes across like a discount-"Shine". Nice riff in the bridge though, just underneath the solo, which is also good.. Good solo too. Seems to be a bit of boogie-woogie piano in there too, which is different. All in all, a decent enough song and not the worst thing I've heard from Motorhead. Their cover of "Stand By Your Man" (yes, the Tammy Wynette song) was awful.
5) One Track Mind - Aww HELL YEAH!!! This is a fucking awesome song and a prime showcase for what could have been a great new dynamic within Motorhead. Lemmy and Phil providing the back-beat whilst Brian plays some smooth guitar over the top of it. Melodic intro and verses as well as grinding chrouses with a pace and feel that's quite similar to "Iron Horse/Born To Lose" off the first Motorhead album. Possibly slower, I dunno. It's certainly a song of contrasts which is why it's so good. The lyrics are a bit strange, but then again, so were the ones for "Metropolis". Slightly un-PC refrain of "two-faced women, two-time guys, two-faced women, two black eyes" in the second verse though! The solo at the end is brilliant.
6) Another Perfect Day - The title track in all it's glory. Well, the intro sounds ominous as it's one of those slightly quiet things, clean jangly intro that could have came from any 80's rock song. The rest of it is fine, a nice mid-paced quality Motorhead song, sounds like the sort of thing which would get played in biker bars or clubhouses.
7) Marching Off To War - Whilst the melodic stuff and wild solos are still there, they appear to have been pulled back. I guess Lemmy had had enough by that point! Seriously, there's a line on wiki which claims that Lemmy reckoned that Brian Robertson would spend up to 17 hours on a guitar track. This is more like your old classic Motorhead where it was just straight-up no-frills rocking.
8) I Got Mine - Starts off with a jingly-jangly intro! Must've been to compensate for the lack of such stuff on the previous track. As you'd expect with Motorhead, it's another rocker but with the added melodic touch. It's not too bad, to be fair.
9) Tales Of Glory - Rocking out is the order of the day here, not much else to say but that doesn't mean it's a bad track. Sometimes, less is more. Straight up meat-and-potatos rocking with some more good solos. An extremely rough and ready tune, it takes us nicely to the penultimate track...
10) Die You Bastard - And what a way to go out on, the kind of proto-thrash that Motorhead specialise in! A brilliant track and a great way to end the album. The reissues have extra tracks but they're mostly live stuff. Mind, "Turn You Round Again" is quite special.
All in all, we've had an album that I can heartily recommend to anyone. The production is great and the songs are excellent too. The only drawback I can find is that some of the melodic stuff (especially the solos) does seem a bit too caked on. If it had've been dialled back a bit, trimming the puppy-fat, then it would have had a far more better effect. In a way, it's a shame this line-up didn't last as it would have been very interesting to hear more music from them, as who knows, they may have made stuff that was the same template as this album, but even better. Still, as we all know, they went on to make more and more excellent albums. Thanks, lads.
8 - Oh you have my attention, and maybe my money, time and heart.
Top Track: One Track Mind.
This album is available on iTunes.